[Year Zero Engine] Hullo! and question about Coriolis...

#1
<peers suspiciously at the decor> Huhn...

Hello all, been awhile....

Anyway - Coriolis was a "f**k it why not?" impulse buy last weekend in Travelling Man in York. Rather like the Y0 Engine, particularly in Coriolis. Find the core book a bit woolly and imprecise. Anyone done any work on writing their own, clearer take on the Supernatural and Metaphysical - what are the Icons, why invoking them also empowers the Dark etc?

As a huge Firefly and Alistair Reynolds fan, as well as becoming a fan of MY0 and Forbidden Lands, and Farscape and Dune I'm kinda of in love with the game, but also occasionally infuriated by a lack of clarity about the back drop... I know the official campaign lays out more clearly what's going on with the Emissaries etc. but wondered if anyone here as done their own take to clarify / build on whats in the core book?

Nick
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#2
Hi @Nick Middleton welcome back. Have a pint on the house.
I play Coriolis and I grok it, but it has meant I have not really read it, so as to avoid spoilers.
@First Age , @Dom are definitely the first people to help you..
I have to say, I have a feeling it's a very good exampe of how to launch an SF campaign.
Systems seems very very simple, but that's good IMHO.
 
#3
<peers suspiciously at the decor> Huhn...

Hello all, been awhile....

Anyway - Coriolis was a "f**k it why not?" impulse buy last weekend in Travelling Man in York. Rather like the Y0 Engine, particularly in Coriolis. Findi the core book a bit woolly and imprecise. Anyone done any work on writing their own, clearer take on the Supernatural and Metaphysical - what are the Icons, why invoking them also empowers the Dark etc?

As a huge Firefly and Alistair Reynolds fan, as well as becoming a fan of MY0 and Forbidden Lands, and Farscape and Dune I'm kinda of in love with the game, but also occasionally infuriated by a lack of clarity about the back drop... I know the official campaign lays out more clearly what's going on with the Emissaries etc. but wondered if anyone here as done their own take to clarify / build on whats in the core book?

Nick
Coriolis is not hard science fiction, but many SF games are actually just space opera anyway. The whole Jedi and The Force come to mind.

Anyway, the universe of Coriolis is one where you have science and also the "dark between the stars" where the supernatural beings lie in wait. The Icons are such beings. This sits within the traditions of many cultures on Earth whose scientists practice science while still believing in some supernatural aspects of faith.

So if accept the above conceit of the game's universe, every prayer is like a bargain with those beings in the dark between the stars. They aid you at a price. The price is not exacted immediately but at the time of their choosing. The Game Master takes on that role within the game mechanics.

Coriolis has actually inspired me to use the same engine and some of the same concepts to come up with a game in which those who are religions get the benefits and price of requesting supernatural help, while those without faith, do not receive that aid but also avoid the payback. However, those who bargained with the supernatural can still affect the unbelieves indirectly, for example, the pilot who prayed earlier and must now pay the price may suffer some PTSD attack at the most inopportune time, and the unbelieving passengers still suffer the physical effects of the crash.
 
#4
I suppose I want a more coherent model in my head that gives me a framework for the Icons as a real force (because for example, portal travel is MASSIVELY safer if you are a believer who does the ceremony, have a priest and chapel on board - +4 dice?!) likewise the Dark. Mechanically, the system leaves no room for "atheism" in the sense that these forces demonstrably shape the world... And I can't help feeling that whether I run Mercy of the Emmisaries or not, the cultural back drop# and history ought to factor in... Reynolds-like revelations of deep history etc feel entirely appropriate, and I'm fine with them being spiritual / supernatural rather than super-science... I just want some idea of how to shape them...

I am fairly confident that in MY Coriolis, there was a whole flotilla of STL generation ships that set out from Al-Ardha (Old Terra), not just Zenith and Nadir, and that much fo what happened during that long journey bears more resemblance to the Folottila from Reynold's Chasm City... And may actually play in to the origin of the Draconites...

For Example - if Al-Ardha was dying and the flotilla is an exodus of those who follow the then newly sprung up Faith of the Icons, partially launched by the sacrifice of others who remain behind... then I have an explanation of the common culture between Firstcome and Zenithian's but also for complexities and nuance in the various faiths and cults that follow the Icons... Also, if the Firstcome are the descendants of the Icon worshippers who stayed on Al-Ardha and reached the Third Horizon via Portal... then perhaps what drove them to the Third Horizon before the outbreak of the Portal Wars was persecution / hostility to the Faith of the Icons...


# the Zenith is, effectively, a time capsule back to Al-Ardha many centuries in the past - but clearly the Firstcome and Zenithian cultures were close enough that the arrival of the Zenithians has effectively sparked a revival of interstellar culture in the the Third Horizon, not a war... That's intriguing, given that the Third Horizon was settled by peoples to some (unclear) extent escaping conflict / oppression in the 1st and 2nd Horizons.
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#5
I did think that there is no space for atheism.
That seems correct in order to support the deep cultural belief in the Icons.
Do u need a mechanical system to support you as a GM or your world view?
On the other hand, if u are constructing your version then it's as valid as any other, and I think the ambiguity in the setting may be deliberately allowing u the freedom to do so.
 

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#6
The book itself is not especially well structured; I soon learned that using the index (which is good) is key to finding rules etc.

Setting-wise, they drop a lot of hints and there's material all over the place. I haven't read the first part of the campaign yet because @First Age is running it and I don't want to spoil it for myself.
 
#7
Coriolis has a richer universe than Alien, just that Fria Ligan, as Dom rightly said, did not do a great job in writing Coriolis like a good reference took. T They seem to have gotten seduced by style over substance.

Still, I personally enjoy the setting, because it is the sort of science fiction universe plausible in many non-Western cultures, especially, in the Middle-East, India, Africa were faith in the greater forces and belief in the scientific process are not mutually exclusive. Obviously, the writers of Coriolis, themselves are not too sure exactly how to play on the whole idea of "dark between the stars", but that could be a boon to role playing along the lines of Cthulhu-esque mysteries of the cosmos.

Since it is entirely plausible, that multiple universes in our own reality exist, having one with multi-dimensional cosmic beings greater than any humanoid is not too far out a thought.
 
#10
Hah! - I’m so going to use a version of Maldis at some point in Coriolis: because whilst I love Terry Nation’s bleak, nihilistic Space Opera, for some reason Coriolis reminds me more of Farscape, but (slightly) less bonkers...

...hmm Portal transitions / use (at least since humanity discovered them) aggravates the Dark - which in its natural state is not the devil / gigashadow but rather a yang to the yin of material existence and life; so the "recent" elimination of the dark / negative aspects of the Icons may be a misrepresentation / simplification of the "truth"...
The Church of the Icons said:
The key difference between the Church’s doctrine and the Iconic folklore is that the faction denies the duality of the Icons’ temperaments and vengefulness. Instead, the Church preaches that evil exists within humans themselves, and that it is released when the Dark between the Stars enters someone’s life.
Bugger, don't think I have any of my comparative religion text books on Zoroastrianism anymore... Food for thought anyway - thanks peeps!
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#13
It was Cordwainer Smith!

They go on adventures.

I felt the game presented a simple to access entry into a typical Traveller like setup. So much so that I shall adopt the approach with the alternative character gen in the Mongoose Traveller 2.0 Companion, and 1-3 ships you can pick from. It then added an atypically religious layer.

The system is simples.

I am very pleased to be playing it and it will inform my return to the Trojan Reaches in Known Space. Indeed I could use it in the Trojan Reaches...
 

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#14
What do the PCs in Coriolis do? It looked lovely, but I wasn't clear what a typical party got up to.
Get mixed up in trouble. ;)

It can draw very much on the same well as Traveller, but you've got lots of faction stuff going on as well. The look and feel is different; the campaign is mysticism and politics (so far) but previous games we've played involved AI shenanigans, murder mysteries and finding missing people.

There's much more to hook into than say Transhuman Space, which was the classic brilliant setting but how do I engage with it.
 

First Age

D&D h@ck3r and Hopepunk
Staff member
#15
I'm enjoying the layers and textures presented int he official campaign. The tension between the factions and the Emmissaries hand grenade are great fun. Classic space-opera with reavers, rescues, escapes, shoot out at cantinas, wide vistas and ancient ruins can all be tapped as well.

Easily one of my favourite SF games, the rules are simple and effective, and could form the base for other SF games in other settings.

May the Icons bless your travels.
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#16
It has also explored quite modern versions of classic SF, artificial intelligence, mutations, eugenics, telepaths. All with an awareness of what can happen to society when faced by them. Actually no more up to date than some of the earliest SF, but phrased in late 20th - early 21st century phrasing mixed with a similarly (IMHO) modern Levant-Arabic feel.

What I haven't seen @Stronty Girl is a straight up ground war, yet.

This makes me want to run Exilium.. curious, eh?

However. I can't see the point of moving away from Traveller/Cepheus once you want to "design stuff", that doesn't seem Coriolis' bag.
 

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#18
However. I can't see the point of moving away from Traveller/Cepheus once you want to "design stuff", that doesn't seem Coriolis' bag.
Exactly, it's less complete than starter edition Traveller / the three CT LBBs in that respect. It is definitely from a narrativist/story perspective rather than a wargaming one.

I do like it a lot.
 
#19
Get mixed up in trouble. ;)

It can draw very much on the same well as Traveller, but you've got lots of faction stuff going on as well. The look and feel is different; the campaign is mysticism and politics (so far) but previous games we've played involved AI shenanigans, murder mysteries and finding missing people.

There's much more to hook into than say Transhuman Space, which was the classic brilliant setting but how do I engage with it.
Even given my struggles getting to grips with the larger setting, this rings true - it feels ripe with possibilities for play, and character gen looks to do a fantastic job of building a party with a broad framework and direction to head off in.... my struggles are all to do with ensuring I have a clear enough handle on the large scale backdrop to fully bring it to life for the players; I have no concerns about finding mischief for them to get involved in.
 
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